Sunday, November 29, 2009


We have enjoyed the four day weekend with nowhere to go and nothing to do besides enjoy each other's company and good food. There was certainly plenty.

Thanksgiving morning, Liam helped Gabriel make some french toast. It was a good start to the day.
I filled the turkey with turkey with chestnut stuffing. It turns out that shelling the chestnuts was a time-consuming ordeal. Even Liam helped Grammie and Gabriel get it done. Gabriel is reading over my shoulder as I type. He says, "How'd you get a picture of me smiling while doing that?"
The feast.
After the meal, Liam and Linda played woodland dress-up with the rosemary sprigs.
Our little sprite.
And of course, there was pie.
It was a good day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving week -part 1

We are having Thanksgiving at our house this year with my mom, Linda, and Linda's boyfriend Ethan. It's not a large crowd, but you'd never know it based on the amount of food I bought over the weekend.

It's a traditional menu:
  • Turkey with Stuffing
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Mashed Potatoes with Gravy
  • Roasted Sweet Potatoes
  • Green Beans
  • Rolls
  • Pickles, Olives, Chevre, and Crackers
  • Chocolate Fudge
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • Pecan Pie

And I'm doing what I can in advance to make Thursday's meal as easy as possible.


  • Started the bread for the stuffing. I'll bake it tomorrow.
  • Made cranberry sauce, with and without whole berries.
  • Made, and sampled, chocolate fudge.
  • Put the turkey in the fridge to thaw.

It was a full morning in the kitchen, especially since I made cranberry thumbprint cookies for us to munch over the next few days, and a loaf of ricotta sandwich bread for breakfasts in the meantime.

Definitely my kind of morning.

the lighting of the ozarks

Saturday evening, we went down to the Fayetteville Square for the "Lighting of the Ozarks." The yearly Christmas parade is always opened with turning on the thousands of lights coating the trees around the square. It's beautiful every year.

Liam had no idea what was going on at first. Why were we just standing around in the dark with everyone else in Fayetteville?
But his reaction when those lights turned on was defintely worth that squirmy wait.
He loved the lights.
He loved the parade.
It was a good night.

what he does with Daddy

Saturday morning, I was busy helping my mom make a cake for an open house at her work, which meant Gabe was "in charge" of Liam.

Liam loves every little bit of Special Daddy Time that he can get, especially when Gabe has been out of town like he was last week.

Usually they do things outside, or play legos, or wrestle. Each other's company is simply enough. But Gabe wasn't feeling especially motivated for any of the usuals. I suggested he and Liam color with markers.

This is not what I had in mind.

Friday, November 20, 2009

little tiger

Liam and I were surprised today by a packge from Tio Andres and Tia Molly. Liam gets just as excited about these kinds of things as I do.

He's saying box, box, box...
A tiger costume!
Liam loves playing dress up and then looking in the mirror. This costume won his approval right away. It's even good for nap time.

Thank you, Tio Andres and Tia Molly.

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Dahlia-sized dog bed

Over the summer, I made a kitty-sized dog pillow. I decided on Friday that it was time for Dahlia to get a bed of her own that she actually could lounge on.

I made it with materials I had on hand, stuffing it with that inevitable accumulation of plastic grocery bags despite my diligence to bring my own reusable bags.

It has a zipper to allow future bag-stuffing and it features a fleece-lined blanket attached on top. Janelle, I think Flash would appreciate one of these :-)
The cut-list:

washable upholstery-weight fabric

  • 31"x24" (cut 2)
  • 24"x3.5" (cut 2)
  • 31"x6"
  • 24"x6" (cut 2)

fleece fabric (I used an old blanket)

  • 31"x24"

lining fabric (I used a cotton quilting Christmas print I had no other plans for)

  • 31"x24" (cut 2)

Other notions:

  • a zipper (mine was 18"...the length isn't hugely important)
  • scissors
  • thread
  • seam-ripper
  • sewing machine
note: Dahlia is a medium-sized beagle, weighing in at a hefty 30 pounds. Feel free to scale dimensions up or down to fit your own pooch's needs.
1. Pin together lining fabric and one rectangle of fleece fabric. Be sure right side of fleece is facing out. The lining doesn't matter; it won't show. Baste together with 1/4" seam allowance. This is the bottom of the blanket portion.

2. Pin together and baste (1/4" seam allowance)other fleece rectangle and one of the upholstery rectangles, right sides together. Leave an opening on one side for turning right-side out. This is the top of the blanket portion.

3. Turn right-side out. Top stitch along the edge of two adjacent sides (forming an L) not including the side with the opening. I allowed the upholstery side to roll over to the fleece side just a smidgen before stitching to give it a more polished look.

4. Baste together the two 24"x3.5" rectangles, right sides facing each other, with 1/4" seam allowance. Press seam and carefully pin zipper (right side facing down) along the seam.

5. With zipper foot, stitch zipper in place, going up one side and back down the other.

6. With seam ripper, carefully remove basting stitches to expose zipper.

7. With 1/2 " seam allowance, sew remaining 6" wide pieces end to end, being sure to sew 24" pieces to 31" pieces and viceversa. Sew tail end together to form a rectangle. This forms the sides of the pillow.
8. With 1/2" seam allowance, sew sides to remaining 24"x31" rectangle of upholstery fabric, right sides facing each other.

9. With 1/2" seam allowance, sew lining-backed fleece rectangle to the opposite edge of the sides along two adjacent edges to form an "L", fleece side facing down. One of the edges should be the zipper side.

10. Tuck the top of the blanket (the fleece+upholstery layer) into the pillow, lining the top stitched edges up with the already sewn edges of the bottom blanket layer. With 1/2" seam allowance, sew all three layers together along unattached edges, being sure to turn under and catch the opening in the fleece+upholstery layer.
11. It should look like this. Except yours doesn't need to look as sloppy as mine even though the strings and frayed edges will be hidden inside the pillow. Sloppiness level is up to you.

12. Turn pillow right-side out through open zipper. Top blanket should be connected on two adjacent sides.

13. Stuff pillow form with overabundance of plastic grocery bags, being sure to fill all the way to the corners and sides .

I filled the form with all of my bags, and I plan to add more as I get them since they smoosh down with use.
15. Tada.

But she still prefers the couch.

10 honest things

Crystal just finished her own list of 10 honest things about herself and has nominated me to do the same. So, here goes.

  1. In the last week, I've only taken 2 showers. I know, kind of gross. I'm glad for the cold weather and the excuse to wear hats.
  2. Being a stay-at-home mom is totally fulfilling to me. I don't feel stifled or the need to go out and do a "real" job, this one is more than enough. Somedays it is the happiest part of my life.
  3. Somedays, the happiest part of my life is going to bed at night.
  4. My favorite part about being pregnant is food. Tonight's dinner: the flying burrito. Mmmm.
  5. I have a specific order in which my groceries must be unloaded from the shopping cart and onto the conveyor belt. Gabe knows not to mess with the system. It's very important to me.
  6. I started this year's Christmas crafting in June.
  7. I have been resisting the urge to play Christmas music until the proper time (the day after Thanksgiving through New Year's Eve). Okay, I already cheated once and sang along with James Taylor's holiday album one afternoon last week. But since then, I've overcome temptation.
  8. Attending Grace Episcopal Church since June has been a much needed breath of fresh air.
  9. Friday night is Grey's Anatomy night. My mom comes over, we push the couch in front of the computer, and we all (including Gabriel: he's also a big fan) are transported to Seattle Grace Hospital. Yes, it's my favorite night of the week.
  10. This one is hardest to admit: I really love the Twilight Saga. It's so bad that several Sundays ago, during the appointed reading

My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Look! There he stands behind our wall gazing through the window, peering through the lattice. - Song of Solomon 2:9

I immediately thought of Edward's love for Bella, and it gave me a clearer picture of God's love for me. Yes, it's that bad.

So, there it is. 10 randomly honest things that popped into my head tonight. I think I'm supposed to nominate seven people to do the same. Here's my pick:

arts and crafts

I haven't been good about blogging lately. Between the general exhaustion of growing a baby (while chasing around a toddler who does not like me to be on the computer) and a keyboard that only types some of the letters sometimes with no rhyme or reason (making the simplest of sentences time consuming and frustrating) blogging just hasn't been much of a priority.

Liam has been really interested in arts and crafts lately, much of that having to do with his new craft table I found in a dumpster.

Yes, in a dumpster.

I painted the top with chalkboard paint, and we keep sidewalk chalk (perfect for toddler hands and slightly less breakable) in the cupboard on top.

Liam loves having a table just his size.
Sage spent the day with us last Thursday. He and Liam painted hand-turkeys together. It was a big mess and big fun. Thank you, washable acrylics...
Sage was not thrilled with wearing the smock. But once we got it on, he was happy with the paint.
The table is also good for playdough (homemade, of course). Liam had a lot of fun making a spiny caterpillar with toothpicks.
He is a lot to keep up with, but we are settling into a balance of somewhat structured activities with lots of time in the rocking chair with a good book or two or three. And he has been doing great entertaining himself with duplos and puzzles.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A doll for Grace

Yesterday was Grace's first birthday, and being the Auntie that I am, a special doll was in order. I've been experimenting with making Waldorf-style dolls for a while, and this one is my favorite so far.

She is made from unbleached organic cotton knit fabric and stuffed with organic cotton fibers.
This was my first attempt at button joints for the arms and legs, making them fully poseable but still sturdy. She's weighted with a bag of wheat berries in the body, so she sits well.

And of course, she has a belly button.

Some hair, facial features, a diaper, shoes, and a sweet dress work wonders.
Happy Birthday, Grace.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

ninja, bat, duck

We had three days of Halloween activities, which meant Liam could wear three different costumes.


For the special Halloween story time at the library, Liam went in his ninja costume. I taught him to say "hi-yah," which he continues to repeat at random moments.

I forgot to bring my camera, but just imagine the world's cutest little ninja. That's the picture.


Time for the bat costume.

I took Liam downtown in the wagon for Siloam's annual downtown trick or treat. The street was blocked off from traffic, but it was congested with LOTS of people instead. Liam came home with lots of candy, although along the way he ate
  • a tootsie pop
  • a now n' later
  • a dum dum
  • 2 tootsie rolls
  • a twizzler's pull and peel

Let's just say he was a very happy bat.

Back at home, Liam's balloon popped. He was stunned. Not because of the noise. Because he couldn't find his balloon. He just kept repeating "uh-oh" and motioning to the now empty rubberband around his wrist.
For Halloween officially, Liam was a duck. This was his favorite costume. He had a huge grin from the moment he saw it, and he gladly wore the hood all day.
We spent the morning in Fayetteville, stopping at the library, the Little Bread Co, the Farmer's Market, TerraTots, and ONF. Everyone liked the little duck...
Liam definitely liked Halloween!